Salt and Blood Pressure

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Sodium and chloride ions are essential components of the system that keeps our general body chemistry in working balance. They mostly remain in the fluid that surrounds all our cells, the plasma, the fluid portion of the blood, where they balance the potassium and other ions inside the cells. It’s estimated that we need something like 1 gram of salt per day, a requirement that goes up with physical activity since we lose body fluids and minerals in sweat. Thanks to its presence in nearly all manufactured foods, the average daily salt intake in the United States is around ten times the requirement.